CCLXXVIII (F VIII, 12)
M. CAELIUS RUFUS TO CICERO (ON HIS JOURNEY HOME)I am ashamed to confess to you and to complain of the injuries done me by Appius—that most ungrateful of men, who begins to hate me because he is under great obligations to me; and since, in his avarice, he could not constrain himself to pay his debt, he has declared a secret war against me, yet not so secret either but that many people reported it to, me, and I myself observed without difficulty that he was harbouring evil thoughts of me. When, however, I discovered that he had been tampering with the college, 1 then that he had been openly colloguing with certain persons, deliberating with L Domitius 2 —at present my bitterest enemy—and expressing a wish to offer this trifling favour to 'Cn. Pompeius, I could not prevail on myself to upbraid him personally, or to beg one, whom I considered owed his life to me, to refrain from injuring me. What, then, could I do? However, I spoke to several of his friends, who were acquainted with my services to him. When I perceived that he did not think me even worth conciliating, I preferred putting myself under an obligation to his colleague 3 —a man very much out of sympathy with me, and not likely to be very well-disposed to me, owing to my friendship with you—rather than endure the sight of that ape. When he ascertained this, he flew into a rage and kept exclaiming that I was looking for an excuse for hostility, in order that, since he had not done what I wanted in regard to the money, I might cover my attack upon him by this show of a personal quarrel. Since then he has not ceased egging on Servius Pola to accuse me, and concerting measures with Domitius. And when they were not successful in securing anyone to accuse me under any law, they wanted me to be attacked under a law which gave them no ground for saying a word. Their impudence was so boundless, that they secured an information being laid against me under the Scantinian law 4 at the very height of the Circensian games, in which I was presiding. Scarcely had Pola got the words out of his mouth, when I laid an information under the same law against the censor Appius. I never saw a more successful stroke. For it has been approved by the people, and not all the lowest of them, to such an extent, that the scandal has given Appius greater pain than the legal proceedings. Besides this, I have started an action for recovering a shrine now within the wails of his house. I am much disturbed by the detention of the slave who takes this letter to you. For since the receipt of your last he has been more than forty days in town. I don't know what to say to you. You know that Domitius dreads the day of election. 5 I am looking forward much to your return and desire to see you as soon as possible. I beg you to feel as much vexed at my wrongs, as you think I ever grieve at, and try to avenge yours.